I am Michelle Danen, I have been in England since the forth of February and I have been working in the ward since the eighth of February. I work as a nurse at ward 4A of General & Old Age Medicine, in particular with hip fractures. I live in the accommodation provided by the hospital.
"I would definitely recommend England. It is good for your development and it is nice on your resume."
I was just thinking... well, there shouldn’t be a large difference between the Netherlands and England. I couldn’t be more wrong. There are very distinct differences between the Netherlands and England, in fact. It starts by introducing yourself. I am used to shaking hands and saying who you are. They thought that was very bizarre: they do not shake hands when meeting each other for the first time. This was already my first awkward encounter. Another special aspect about the hospital is that there are separate units for men or women. They have an old fashion way of working sometimes, and there is a clear hierarchy. Every discipline or rank has its own coloured uniform, and these come in skirts, dresses or just suits.
Furthermore, the English are very reserved in the beginning, but as soon as you get to know them, you notice that they are in fact very open and pleasant to work with!
"The atmosphere is nice, I have had pleasant colleagues so far!"
England’s health care system is very different from the Dutch one. They use another system. The NHS, that I work for, is part of the government and is free of charge. A disadvantage is that the waiting time for treatments and operations is much longer. People who have the money can go to a private clinic where the waiting lists are shorter. I believe that a list of healthcare in Europe has been released recently: the Netherlands ranked third and the UK rated much lower.
As I have already said, I work at a NHS hospital, i.e. a hospital that works for the government. The atmosphere is nice, I have had pleasant colleagues so far! What you do notice is that there is a permanent shortage of medical staff. Our ward has a shortage of personnel and yet, we are ‘lucky’ to have that many colleagues. Some other wards are doing much worse. So the fact that we are understaffed can cause strain sometimes.
On our ward we have a high diversity of colleagues. We have British, Dutch, Indian, Kenyan, South-African and Portuguese staff members. Personally, I really like that. So you don’t feel like the only foreigner there. I have two other Dutch nurses in my ward, and two others are working in the hospital.
I would definitely recommend England. Personally, I like working outside of the Netherlands because it is a different culture with different habits. But other than that it is good for your development. You will have the chance to receive many other trainings, they give you the chance to alter things in your ward. Additionally, you have the opportunity to be promoted or transferred into other wards. Moreover, it is good for developing your English and it is nice on your resume.
Finally, England offers many fun things to do and see. It is very beautiful here, that is for certain.